Biden Updates Obama on Recovery Act Investments in Clean Energy Projects

By Dschabner

Dec 15, 2009 12:01am

ABC News' Karen Travers reports:

President Obama will be in Copenhagen on Friday for climate change talks and Vice President Biden has given him some reading material for the flight over.

The White House has released a memo that Biden presented to the president outlining ways that funding from the administration’s $787 billion Recovery Act funding is making progress for toward a cleaner, more energy efficient economy. The report details ways that stimulus funds have been used toward advances in renewable energy, energy grid modernization, home energy efficiency projects and green automobiles.

“I’m pleased to report that the administration is laying the foundation for a clean energy economy that will create a new generation of jobs, reduce dependence on oil and enhance national security,” Biden begins his memo to Obama. “Through the Recovery Act and more effective use of programs already in existence, the administration is taking the critical steps to transform the United States into a global clean energy leader.”

Over $80 billion from the Recovery Act has been invested in clean energy technology, which the Obama Administration says is “the largest single investment in clean energy in U.S. history.” The administration says that investment will produce $150 billion in clean energy projects

Obama heads to a Home Depot store in Northern Virginia on Tuesday to discuss how energy saving home projects help the economy with labor, manufacturing, and small business leaders. On Wednesday, Biden will talk about clean energy and the manufacturing industry at a Middle Class Task Force event on Wednesday.

Below are examples from Biden’s report, where the administration says it has made progress on clean energy projects as a result of Recovery Act investments:

Renewable Energy: The U.S. is on-track to double renewable energy generation, including solar, wind and geothermal, and double renewable manufacturing capacity in just three years because of Recovery Act investments.

Vehicles and Fuels of the Future: Over the next six years, three new electric vehicles plants—the first ever in the U.S.—and 30 new battery plants will be fully operational because of the Administration’s $16 billion investment in plug-in hybrids, all-electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to power them, as well as new clean fuels. When President Obama took office there were just 2 advanced battery and electric drive component factories in the U.S.

Grid Modernization: Twenty-six million smart meters will be installed in U.S. homes by 2013 – more than triple the number currently in service – as a result of the Administration’s $4 billion Recovery Act investment in a smart energy grid and the one-to-one match in private sector funding. This technology allows consumers to monitor and regulate their own energy usage and costs.

Energy Efficiency: Because the Administration is making the largest single investment in home energy efficiency in U.S history through the Recovery Act and other initiatives, nearly one million home energy efficiency retrofits will have happened by 2012.

Carbon Capture: Because of Recovery Act funding and existing loan guarantee authority, there will be 5 commercial scale power plants operating with large carbon capture sequestration facilities by 2015. When President Obama took office, there were zero.

Science and Innovation: Through the Recovery Act, the Administration is investing $400 million in some of the most advanced research in wind, solar, and geothermal technologies through the ARPA-E program to make these clean sources of energy more affordable and easier to store and transport. A year ago, this critical program was unfunded.

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